Since the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) a pandemic, companies around the world began to send their employees home. Mounting cases in the U.S. have led to nationwide calls for individuals to avoid non-essential travel and for companies to shift to remote work.
Remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that around 29% of U.S. employees work from home. But with employees leaving their offices in droves, the current public health crisis might put remote work to the test once and for all. While the major benefit or working from home during the coronavirus outbreak is mitigating the spread of the disease as much as possible, there are other benefits for both employers and team members.
Even Before Coronavirus, Remote Work Offered Benefits
Working in your pajamas might sound great, but there are a lot of other benefits to remote work for both employees and employers. As a fully remote company, the MoneyGeek team knows that remote work comes with several advantages.
1. Higher Productivity
Since the remote working boom began, the evidence that a remote workplace is a more efficient and productive one has been building.
Remote employees have more control over their workday. That means that they’re likelier to take breaks when they need to. They’re also likelier to work at the time of day when they’re at their best and most creative.
According to one Airtasker survey, remote workers spend an extra 10 minutes per day fully engaged in their work. They also work an average of 1.4 more days per month than their in-office peers. That’s more than two more weeks of productivity per employee on an annual basis.
2. Greater Diversity of Talent
Remote workplaces are often more diverse and inclusive than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. By widening your potential talent pool, you can select the most qualified candidate for the job and infuse your company with new, creative perspectives.
A digital workplace also makes for a more geographically diverse talent pool, according to Doug Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of MoneyGeek.
“Contrary to popular belief, not all the top tech and digital talent resides in Silicon Valley or New York City,” Jones says. “Going remote allows MoneyGeek to find the right fit for each role from anywhere in the country instead of just the Bay Area or New York. It's also favorable for startup tech companies like MoneyGeek to recruit in geographic areas that are less associated with the startup or tech world. As the saying goes: ‘Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not.’”
3. Lower Work-Related Costs
The remote workplace is less expensive for both employees and employers, as it cuts back on unnecessary expenses for personal and professional budgeting.
Remote work drastically slashes the overhead costs of operating a brick-and-mortar office space. Without hefty electric bills, for example, shifting to remote work is a cost-effective way for many companies to operate.
What’s more, the average American endures a nearly half-hour commute each day — one way. That’s a mind-numbing hour every day that workers could be spending on more important tasks.
Without the commute, employees also don’t have to spend as much money each week on gas, parking, public transit or car maintenance. Working from home also means employees don’t have to spend as much time and money on office-appropriate clothing, makeup and shoes.
4. Increased Trust and Employee Retention
Employee retention is great for overall company morale, but also for a company’s bottom line as less time and money is devoted to the hiring process.
Jones adds that remote work, by necessity, builds a mutual culture of trust between employee and employer. “We hire folks that we can trust,” he explains. “Many companies don't trust their employees to get their job done unless management is standing over them. That's the opposite of what we want to build with the culture at MoneyGeek.”
Without the burden of micromanagement, employees feel more autonomous and empowered. Meanwhile, employers and supervisors are freed up to work on what really matters. This freedom also makes the hiring process a more positive one, says Jones: “Our culture is heavily based on hiring highly talented people that want to build a successful business, who believe in our mission, where folks are empowered to make key decisions and make a huge impact for MoneyGeek and our users.”
Assessing the Benefits of Remote Work
Working remotely comes with many tangible upsides for employers and team members. Your team’s remote work gameplan can establish best practices to ease the growing pains during this major shift.
Laura Dorwart has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, VICE, SELF, Bustle, and many other outlets. She has a Ph.D. from UCSD, an MFA in nonfiction writing from Antioch University, and a B.A. from Barnard College.
World Health Organization. “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.” Accessed March 13, 2020.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19).” Accessed March 13, 2020.
USA Today. “College closings: More than 100 colleges cancel in-person classes and move online.” Accessed March 13, 2020.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Workers who could work at home, did work at home, and were paid for work at home, by selected characteristics, averages for the period 2017-2018.” Accessed March 13, 2020.
Airtasker. “The Benefits of Working From Home.” Accessed March 13, 2020.
Seekout. “Remote Work: The Single Best Secret for Diversity Recruiting.” Accessed March 13, 2020.
The Washington Post. “Nine days on the road. Average commute time reached a new record last year.” Accessed March 13, 2020.
Gallup. “Is Working Remotely Effective? Gallup Research Says Yes.” Accessed March 13, 2020.
WBUR Here & Now. “Productivity, Retention And Cost Savings: Why Working From Home Benefits Employees And Employers.” Accessed March 13, 2020.